Incorporated in 2006, Johns Creek is a relatively young city in terms of its time in the history books. However, this up-and- coming metropolitan suburb of Atlanta is firmly founded on the same pioneering spirit that first gave birth to this region of North Georgia in the early 19th century…
Cutting a meandering 8 mile swath through the center of town, Johns Creek is a gently flowing tributary of the Chattahoochee River. Before it even had a name, Native Americans were drawn here by forests abundant with wildlife and the cool waters of the Chattahoochee rich with fish. Cherokee and Creek fishing villages soon gave way to trading posts and crossroad towns populated by early settlers. Names like McGinnis, Findley, Buice, Cowart and Medlock – which now appear on street signs all around town – belong to the area’s earliest farming families who once gathered here to sell their crops.
The “John” of Johns Creek
Chief among them was John Rogers for whom a creek (and eventually a town) was named. John Rogers was a well- respected plantation owner, colleague to President Andrew Jackson, and great, great uncle of famed actor, satirist and cowboy, Will Rogers. John Rogers and his half-blood Cherokee wife, Sarah Cordery built their home here in 1804 and filled its rooms to overflowing with 12 children. The house – which once played host to President Jackson and Will Rogers – is a private residence that still stands today.
Legend has it sometime near the turn of the 20th century, a circus train crashed in this area – sending dozens of monkeys scurrying into the woods. Having never laid eyes on a monkey, farmers in the area surrounding Sal’s Creek were frightened by these strange creatures screeching at them from the trees. In a less-than-proud moment in our local folklore, the farmers reportedly shot and killed every last one. When walking through the woods at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve, don’t be surprised if you happen upon a collection of stone monkeys created by an anonymous local artist as a tribute to the victims of the fabled monkey massacre.
130 years after John Rogers drew his last breath, the allure of the area and pioneering spirit of its settlers is still undeniable. In 1981, a visionary group of Georgia Tech grads bought 1,700 acres of rural land to transform into a high tech office park – which soon began drawing Fortune 500 firms, nationally recognized corporations, upscale businesses and discerning homebuyers to the area like moths to a flame as it became established as the suburban ideal. A grassroots movement to incorporate Johns Creek slowly began taking shape, and on December 1, 2006 – the City of Johns Creek was officially “born.”
Since then, Johns Creek has become increasingly well-known throughout the South for its bold blend of state-of-the-art innovation, imaginative artistic culture, highly touted schools, fashionable commerce district, wide array of recreational offerings, cutting edge healthcare network, well-crafted neighborhoods, and a stalwart sense of community.